Wigtown launches Scottish essay prize in memory of broadcaster Brown

Wigtown launches Scottish essay prize in memory of broadcaster Brown

Wigtown Book Festival is launching a new national essay prize for Scotland in association with the BBC in memory of broadcaster Anne Brown, who died in June this year aged 78. 

The annual £1,500 Anne Brown Essay Prize will be awarded for the best literary essay, published or unpublished, by a writer in or from Scotland and is supported by her children, Jo and Richard. Brown was the festival's former chair of trustees and a BBC radio producer.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Richard Brown said: “My sister Jo and I are happy to have the opportunity to inaugurate the Anne Brown Essay Prize. Our mother was tirelessly devoted to current affairs, literature, broadcasting — and to Wigtown Book Festival. We knew Anne was a great mother but I’m not sure we fully understood what an extraordinary producer, reporter and colleague she was. She always insisted on giving the credit to everyone but herself. The outpouring of grief and the many hundreds of tributes we have received since we lost her has been inspiring and moving. This prize encapsulates her various passions and interests. Nobody would have looked forward to reading the entries more than she would have.”

The judging panel for the award includes broadcaster Sally Magnusson and New Yorker writer Larissa MacFarquhar. They will be looking for precise writing, original thinking, curiosity, and creative approaches to non-fiction topics. There are no set subjects for entries, and no specific requirements to write about Scotland, although entrants are encouraged to address “aspects of our shared social, cultural or emotional lives”.

Adrian Turpin, artistic director at Wigtown Book Festival, said: “We all feel the loss of Anne deeply. Simply, she was the best of the Wigtown Book Festival, and we would like to thank her family for creating such a fitting memorial."

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Wigtown Book Festival on 26th September, subject to Covid-19 restrictions. Details of how to enter, guidelines and terms and conditions are available online.